March 6, 2014
You’re on Coke…

Brands and companies are finding ways to try and relate to everyday people. They also try to inspire and motivate their consumers in their everyday hardships. But Coke just took it up a notch and started a marketing campaign with a not-so-good tag line. According to the NYTimes,

 The campaign carries the theme “You’re on,” replacing a theme, “Stay extraordinary,” that was introduced in 2010. The new “You’re on” effort, created by Droga5, New York, presents Diet Coke helping Taylor Swift and other millennial women and men by providing an energetic “uplift for those moments when you really need to be on,” said Stuart Kronauge, general manager for sparkling beverages at Coca-Cola North America. In an introductory commercial, the moments include a best man about to make a speech at a wedding dinner, a young woman ready for an audition and Ms. Swift, in a dressing room, being told, “You’re on,” to which she replies: “Great. Let’s go.” The role Diet Coke has in the new campaign is not unlike the role that Red Bull plays in a long-running campaign that carries the theme “Red Bull gives you wings.”

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Okay, technically the advertisement says “You’re on. Diet Coke”. But c’mon, the wording on this advertisement is just horrible. They’re making it so easy for others to troll on their campaign and make really funny remarks. Coca-Cola is getting all the attention and publicity, but for all the wrong reasons. This campaign just ensures to the consumers and the competition that Coke is the butt of all cocaine jokes right now.

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It also probably doesn’t help if you’ve included the word “nose” in your ad. 

Although the message and inspiration for the campaign is well hearted and well thought of, it is entirely blurred out based on the wording of a tag line. Couldn’t Droga5, the agency behind this campaign, have seen or imagined the backlash or negative publicity this tagline would have gotten? Take this little scenario into consideration. In the You’re up YouTube video, you see people taking a drink of their Diet Coke to tackle on auditions, interviews, speeches, and concerts. Now just imagine these people snorting up cocaine right before. What physical effects does cocaine also inhibit? Pretty much the same thing diet coke is supposed to give these people as well.

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Coke could have just tweaked the tag line a little bit, and I wouldn’t have had to post up this harsh criticism of its campaign. “You’re Up. Diet Coke.” The simple change removes the cocaine reference automatically. And it you watched the video, this new tagline has the same effect and meaning as the previous tagline. 

 

And can I just point out that the agency behind this campaign, Droga5 (Drogas) in Spanish means drugs? Feel free to facepalm anytime now. 

February 25, 2014
These Milky Buns Bring All the Customers to the Yard.

As I am reading “Contagious: Why Things Catch On”, by Jonah Berger, the example of Barclay Prime’s $100 dollar cheese steak is first introduced as a marketing gimmick in getting people inside its doors due to pure curiosity. It’s difficult in getting something to catch on and becoming a huge hit with consumers. The best ideas and products become a success because, in simple terms: they are just better than others. So how can a new ice cream shop market itself to stand out from other ice cream shops and gain buzz?

How about creating something remarkable…like an ice cream filled donut?

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Well thanks to a new ice cream shop in Fountain Valley, CA, named Afters, it is possible for such a creation to exist! Andy Nguyen and Scott Ngheim had both found success in their own street-wear and footwear companies and decided to embark on this new, delicious journey. I, being the fashion street-wear fanatic that I am, follow Andy on Instagram and would occasionally see some of his posts that showed him promoting his new business. It wasn’t until the moment that I saw the very first picture of the Milky Bun that I thought to myself, “What the hell is that and how is that even possible?!

The Milky Bun consists of your choice of ice cream that is filled into a donut and is sealed with a hot press. Never in my mind have I thought that a warm donut could house ice-cold ice cream inside of it and then be eaten together. So simple, and yet so remarkable. Nobody has ever paired those two like this before. 

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So why is the Milky Bun such a great marketing technique?

It uses remarkability and leads to high social currency among people. An ice cream filled donut is “unusual, extraordinary, and worthy of notice and remark”, as Berger would say. A Milky Bun is worthy of mention to your friends and family due to its uniqueness and the most powerful form of marketing is personal recommendation. With the first image of Milky Bun that I saw, I quickly shared it with my close friends and told them we had to try it out. My friends and I are big fans of sweets and often get together to get ice cream sandwiches at Diddy Riese or on occasion, Boba in Koreatown. We consider it as our bonding time.

This is a great example of what social currency is; the fact that I shared this information in order to share positive impressions and emotional sharing (strengthening my relationships) with others. And it looks like Afters is generating a ton social currency via word of mouth referrals:

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This is also a great way to incorporate triggers:

Every time you see or smell a donut after looking at the Milky Bun, you will automatically think of Afters. Then the craving begins and that sweet tooth starts to kick in. Afters should use this to its fullest potential since triggers are environmental reminders to people and boost immediate word of mouth and ongoing word of mouth.

This simple creation has generated a ton of buzz. It was featured in 

KTLA 

Huffington Post

OC Weekly

Food Beast

Yahoo

This type of buzz should keep Afters in business for a long time. Their Milky Buns will bring in tons of customers who will keep coming back to try different combinations of Milky Buns or just try new flavors of ice cream. This is what being remarkable in business is all about!

Afters Ice Cream is located at

18030 Brookhurst St.

Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Sunday – Thursday 12 – 10

Friday & Saturday 12 – 11

February 20, 2014
A Must Watch Video: Emotional Storytelling with Google India

How can a brand such as Google, convey deep emotion while trying to market its products and software to consumers? Well keep some tissues handy and watch this video:

 Bit of a tearjerker right?

Did you happen to catch how easy it is to use Google’s search function in the video? You should, but you were probably too deep into the story of two childhood friends reuniting since the Partition of India, with a little help from Google.

In the video, you see Suman, Baldev’s granddaughter, using Google India to try and locate Yusuf in Pakistan. Here we see a glimpse at Google’s web definition function, Google maps, and even Google Plus if you pay close attention. You also see the easiness of using Google on a mobile device for quick answers and even for flight updates. How many times have you used Google search today? Have you thought how easy it is to use the search function to find answers? Have you ever thought that it could help you locate a long lost friend?

Google didn’t focus on its product offering in the video, but focused on storytelling. With this video ad we see a human side to Google, conveying honest and hearted emotions to its viewers. This ad went viral with over 11 million views. This video has high social currency; what people share influences the way others see them. People shared this video to show others what they stand for intellectually and emotionally, showing how touched they were by a moving video, and hopefully to emotionally touch others. 

Google could have just said, “Our products help you find quick and easy answers”. But instead told a beautiful story of how it’s products helped two childhood friends reunite. That’s powerful content marketing. 

February 13, 2014
Find Adventure with Herschel Supply Co.

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Herschel Supply Co. just made me want to go on a vacation. And buy a ton of bags to travel with.

Herschel Supply Co. has really surprised me with their content marketing. I find it hard for a company that sells bags, totes, backpacks, and wallets to find its marketing niche. By the design of their bags, I believe they’re appealing to a younger demographic and they found a great way to attract them. If you look at their blog, you don’t get the sense that they are trying to just sell to you and talk about their promotions. Instead they sell you the urge to find adventure. They make you want to pack your bags (preferably Herschel) and go out to explore the world.

Herschel Supply Co. offers an outlet for stunning photos from travel diaries, and interviews with fashion designers and photographers. It also shows Tumblr contests, upcoming collections/collaboration projects, and even features and interviews with upcoming artists on their blog. As a bonus, Herschel Supply Co. even started its own publication called The Journal to show a

curated collection of seasonal articles, inspiring stories, insightful interviews and beautiful imagery. Produced bi-annually, The Journal is a printed publication for those who appreciate the finer things and possess an appetite for culture.

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I highly recommend checking out their well-traveled section. Herschel Supply Co. lets photographers share the stunning and awesome pictures of their travels to St. Lucia; Tenerife, Spain; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Kashmir, India, and more. These photos convey to the viewer a desire for adventure and travel. And what do you need to travel? A bag of some sorts, of course, because it’s perfect for carrying your travel essentials. It’s the perfect connection and Herschel Supply Co. has taken advantage of it working as their niche. Some of the pictures show the traveler carrying or wearing an appropriate Herschel bag or backpack for their adventure that shows its famous Herschel label. Many of the pictures are jaw dropping and visually tell the story of the photographers adventure.

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It’s clear Herschel Supply Co. has a love for the outdoors. So much, that they even feature outdoor photos from ordinary people. They have hosted “Tumblr submission series” where they select a handful of photos to be featured on their blog while the person gets credit and a link to their personal Tumblr or Instagram page. It’s a good way to incorporate customer engagement and make them feel proud of the photos they have taken.

Bravo to Herschel Supply Co. They design chic, beautiful bags and found a pretty good way of marketing it to its younger demographic. Younger people often get the urge to travel and go on adventures and Herschel shows them the endless possibilities of exploration. Next time you travel, be sure to pack your Herschel bag lightly!

February 6, 2014
4 Tips for a New Fashion Brand

I have a deep love for fashion and business. I love the idea of being able to express yourself with wearable forms of arts and differentiating yourself from others. I also love the idea of building something from scratch and becoming very successful at it. Part of the reason why I chose to go to school for business instead of fashion was to learn how to acquire the tools and knowledge to successfully run my own fashion brand and company. In taking social media marketing classes, I have come up with 4 basic tips to get a fashion brand started with content marketing. Hopefully these steps will help anyone who has a start-up clothing line gain an advantage and successfully make it in this competitive industry.

1. Figure out what your core message is. 

Why should people buy your specific brand? What else should do they get out of it? Don’t create just for the sake of creating…there should be an overall message behind your content. Content marketing is about storytelling and providing a set of new information that should entertain and/or educate your audience. Content marketing should deliver your passion to your consumers in a friendly way to get your message across. Therefore, you need to create something that will keep your customers coming back to you.

2. What knowledge or expertise do you have?

So, your brand makes clothes…that’s great, but other than your products what else can your brand provide to its customers? There should be more than just garments that your company should offer. For example, have you thought about helping style your audience? Since you are a fashion brand you must have some knowledge in styling clothes and picking patterns. There are many companies who have created an online publication/magazine that gives their customers a look at styling techniques and keeping them up to date with current trends. If, for example,you are a street-wear brand then it’s a good idea to start a street-wear styling blog or website that can be useful to your customers on how they could style your particular set of clothes and style the latest trends in the season.

*Sidenote: this could potentially mean including some of your competitors clothes. Most of the other brands will consider it a sign of respect that you have included some of their pieces, thus = potential collaborations and mentions.

This is also a great way to include some of your fan-base’s pictures. This is perhaps the best content any brand can provide because it’s real content provided by customers. And customers loved to be acknowledged.

3. Figure out your target audience and see where they virtually hangout

Who do you envision buying your clothes? Be realistic…you can’t consider a huge demographic of buying your clothes. Appeal to a specific group. You also need to consider where they spend most of their time. Fashion is a big part of the Tumblr community, where the tag – Fashion is always trending. Instagram is also a great place to consider as many fashionable people want to show off their #OOTD (Outfit of the day) and #OutfitGrid. And you should deeply consider Pinterest, as to more people are flocking to that site and is considered to be very fashion based. You should be creating content that others would want to share. Make it visually appealing and find a way to incorporate customer engagement.

For example, on Instagram a potential campaign to come up with to spark engagement is a top outfit of the day/week. Come up with a hashtag and offer winners a prize to see how they styled the clothes you sell. Keep adding weekly themes and incorporate season trends. With their permission, add this content to your blog or website and talk about it!    

4. Keep your content consistent and engage with customers.

Don’t be that blog or page that never updates their site. I’ll admit, this is the hardest part of keeping a blog. Your content should not just be limited to a few posts or picture submissions. Imagine the potential amount of followers or engagement you will earn if you post on a regular basis…the potential to attract new customers and engage in conversations with them. People like to be acknowledged on social media especially, so don’t be afraid to reply to a comment or start a conversation. Part of social media is being social and your replies and conversations should feel like a real person wrote them. So tailor each response and try not to sound like a damn robot. 

Here are some examples of good content marketing blogs. Sephora, AnthropologieOscar De La Renta

Hopefully, some of these tips will come handy to you as they will to me. Don’t be afraid to take some risks and create some wonderful content that others can share! (As well as some awesome clothes, too!) 

February 3, 2014
Why You Should Invest in Content Marketing

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As I’m scrolling through my Instagram and Twitter feed, I see a lot of new businesses promote/market their products and post new promotions, while occasionally providing something original and worthwhile. That’s it. While some images might be visually appealing, they lack one thing – valuable content. Business owners might not see a lot of engagement on their pages and/or aren’t seeing a substantial gain followers. They might be thinking “But…why? I have a good product…people should be flocking to my sites”. Then I would suggest they heavily invest in a content marketing strategy.

Consumers have shut off the traditional world of marketing. Don’t get me wrong, traditional marketing is still very effective. Just not as effective as before. Marketing is evolving, so you need to keep up and not fall behind!

Why content marketing?

Try to tell your story. Become a publisher of your very own content. Giving customers valuable information is the key to content marketing. Your content should make a customer think and react differently; It should feel like non interruption marketing. It should blend in with what you want to say. Content marketing could be blogs, websites, social media, magazines, apps, and more. Your business should become a source of information to your customer. You have to try to dominate as that source and see what your competitors are doing: and do better. Your content should be the reason why your customers want to come back to see what you posted or published.

If you need a visual example, check out this page. It gives an in-depth content marketing look at one of my favorite fashion retailing stores, Anthropologie. 

 If you end up doing this right, you will benefit from the rewards of content marketing: Customers will eventually become loyal and want to do business with you. They will realize this when you focus on becoming a source of education or valuable content to them. 

Give content marketing a chance. You won’t regret it. 

January 17, 2014

Targé

What is the last thing you think of when you think of the discount retailer store? A fashion-forward company? Well that’s what the people behind target are aiming for: Fashion…but at an affordable price. 

Shopping and staying up to date with trends can be a very expensive habit. What if there was a way for some of your favorite designers to sell reasonable priced items to target a price conscious market? Well that’s what Missoni, Jason Wu, Neiman Marcus, Phillip Lim, and Peter Pilotto set out to do. And people go crazy for these collaborations. 

As soon as the OK was given, fashionistas by the fistful swarmed toward the bags, creating a 30-second scramble of shouting and flailing arms before the crowd picked the rack clean.

Shopper Crystal Martin, who has made it to Target for all of the retailer’s designer launches, managed to add a taupe Pashli doppelganger to her haul of shirts.

“It was out of control,” she said of the throng. “This was painful. It was crazy.”

By 7:45 a.m., more than 100 shoppers were in line. “I’ve Got the Power” was pumping through the sound system.

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The thing I am most impressed with is the way Target is utilizing content marketing. Their blog, A Bullseye Viewgoes beyond traditional marketing and tries to relate and offer value to it’s customers. It’s sort of like a Target magazine that shows you behind the scenes looks and offers style tips, health tips, DIY’s, recipes, and more. Target’s direction in publishing their own content that can help educate it’s customers is a good example of content marketing. You want to be able to relate to your consumers and offer something valuable to them. Because in return, customers will start engaging more with your content and share it with others by word of mouth.

If Target wants to become more fashion-forward, this is a great strategy in order to achieve that. With their Bullseye blog, Target can share styling ideas, styling tips, behind the scenes looks with designers, and sneak peeks for their new collaborations. This type of publishing will create value for customers that will make them go to Target and buy, buy, buy. 

December 8, 2013
My Social Media Daily Routine.

I was reading Stephanie Buck’s article on Mashable, “I’m on Facebook Because I’m Bored Beyond Belief" and it made me realize that I have a daily routine every morning I wake up. Sort of like my daily newspaper, I immediately turn to the phone on my side table and I open up Twitter. Then Instagram. Then my mail. Then Tumblr. And lastly, Facebook. 

I start with Twitter first because of the users I follow. Twitter to me, acts like a digital newspaper. It highlights the current events I’m interested in such as fashion, streetwear, marketing, shoes, etc. The users I follow tend to tweet new pictures or articles that I would be interested in. I quickly scroll through my timeline and if anythings interests me I will read it. 

Then I turn to Instagram to see the types of food people upload to get a sense of what I want to eat for breakfast or lunch that day. #foodporn. Funny, I know. And I’m actually serious. Other than that, I will glance at the outfits of some of the users I follow to get inspired on my outfit for that day. Corny but it’s very effective!

Then it starts to get boring…I check my email to get caught up with school projects and assignments. And finally, I open up Facebook. I use facebook mostly to lurk and creep on my friends to see what kind of nonsense they are up too, what idiotic quote they post as their status, what they are complaining about, and how much they wish it was the weekend already.  So in a sense, Facebook really is boring. It’s the last on my daily routine and other social media platforms are more entertaining. What does that mean for Facebook? I’m sure I’m not the only one to think like this. Facebook was the second social media platform I heavily invested my time in. But this was back in 2008. Almost 6 years later, it’s starting to slowly die out of my daily routine. One day I might just delete my Facebook entirely. Remember what happened to MySpace after the new social media platform came into town?

December 6, 2013

Social media makes it easier for all the stalkers out there. That’s why privacy settings are so important. Jack Vale used his stalking powers for a social and humorous experiment. But this just goes to show that others can take advantage of the information you post and possibly use it for other purposes…So turn on those privacy settings! You never know what kinds of creeps are lurking on your pages. 

December 3, 2013
A Little Bit of a Rant…

This past weekend, I heard the terrible news of Paul Walker’s death on Twitter. Many of the people I follow posted breaking news and retweets of some reliable sources of Paul’s passing. I consider myself a die hard Fast and Furious fan, having followed the franchise since the very first movie. This is where I became interested in cars and fell in love with the Nissan Skyline that Paul’s character loved so much. I also looked up to Paul’s character and himself. I remember watching Shark Week on discovery a few months ago and saw a documentary that showed Paul working with marine biologists in order to tag and learn more about sharks in their natural habitat. Paul Walker was also heavily invested in giving back and he was known as a charitable person. 

This is what angers me about social media and it’s naive and ignorant users:

I looked up the hashtag #paulwalker on Twitter and Instagram and found that many people were paying their respects. But disgustingly, others were quick to post what they thought were the dead pictures of Paul Walker. One picture showed a huge laceration to the face of a white male that people thought resembled Paul. Some even said that his death was a hoax, referencing a google search about Paul’s death 2 days before it actually occurred. Some even posted a picture of a burnt body next to some debris and said it was Paul. I was outraged by these posts and the amounts of retweets and shares they got. People will do anything to become the “source” of breaking news and post content that has not been verified and considered to be remotely truth. People even had the audacity to create a fake social media page for Paul’s daughter and post fake content. Paul’s reps quickly took down those pages and made a statement that those were fake accounts. 

Social Media has its downsides and I witnessed that this weekend. People can be ignorant and naive sometimes and believe anything that is posted on the internet. They want to quickly become the source of the news and will try to post anything in order to get their name out there. Instead of tarnishing Paul’s legacy and horrific passing, we should be celebrating his life and paying our respects.  

R.I.P Paul Walker.